Keynote Speaker: Kay Little
Kay Little has been an educator for more than 40 years, teaching 4th grade in Copan, preschool at First Baptist, homeschooling 2 sons, and serving as the Education Coordinator at Bartlesville Area History Museum for 6 1/2 years. While teaching her sons, Kay became very interested in history and started teaching local, state, and U.S. history to groups of homeschoolers.
Kay is from McAlester and graduated from East Central University, with an elementary education degree. She is married to Harvey Little, has 2 grown sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and 3 grandchildren. Kay and Harvey have lived in Bartlesville since 1976, and she has enjoyed learning local history and teaching others about it. After “retiring,” she started her own business, Little History Adventures, to share local, state, and U.S. history with people of all ages. She usually gives history presentations with vintage props, and she sometimes gives them in costume.
Kay has served on the boards for BCHEF (local homeschool group) and Bartlesville Allied Arts and Humanities Council. She now serves on the boards for Wesleyan Christian School and the Bartlesville Community Center Trust. She also serves on the local OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) council and sometimes teaches classes for OLLI. She is a volunteer schoolmarm for the Little House on the Prairie Museum in Independence, Kansas, and the Bartlesville Area History Museum. Kay also helps give tours in the Bartlesville area.
Kay won the Bartlesville Area History Museum’s Elmer Sark Award in 2017 for devotion to historical preservation in Washington County, Oklahoma. In 2019, she received the Women of American History award and medal from the Bartlesville chapter of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution)
Gary and Nancy Blamires
Recently returned from Salt Lake City, where they served an 18 month-long mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Family History Library, Gary and Nancy Blamires are looking forward to sharing some of what they have learned. In Salt Lake City they were able to learn more about family history research and they specialized as digital imaging quality analysts, reviewing document images from around the world. They have lived in Broken Arrow for 42 years during which time they have raised 6 children and they are presently enjoying 17 grandchildren.
Gary’s mother was busy in family history for many years and Gary thought she had gone as far back as they could go. He became active in research five years ago, but got really excited during FamilySearch training when he discovered that he could also add siblings of his direct line to his family tree. Gary has added over 200 new family members to his tree in the last two years. He is currently searching for his great-grandparents’ siblings and will work on the great-greats after that. Nancy’s family has been working extensively on both sides of her family and she is discovering new people in her family tree as well. The Blamires really enjoy helping others begin and expand their search for ancestors.
A native of Tulsa, Juli Bulleigh is a retired accountant and the mother of a large family. She began family history research in 1970, when it was all done in-person research or by correspondence, and she has continued to learn as new tools and resources have become available. She was a librarian in the local Family History Center for 25 years, and was director for 5 of those years. She has used all types of records, but her most extensive experience is in Pennsylvania, New England and Midwestern States, as well as French Canadian research. She also has training in paleography … reading old handwriting.
Ronald Graham, Sr.
Ronald Graham, Sr. was born and raised in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He is a very energetic man who is passionate in the efforts to educate others on the history and genealogy of the Five Civilized Tribes through the Dawes Commission, and particularly the Muscogee (Creek Nation). His father, Theodore BLUE Graham, was an original allottee, roll number: Creek Freedmen Newborn 671. He is a direct descendant of Huttlon/Grayson, Johnson, Corbray, and McGilbray. All were Muscogee Nation citizens.
Mr. Graham currently serves as Genealogy Chair for the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association, and Vice President of the Black Genealogy Research Group of Oklahoma. He has been involved with genealogy and the history of the Freedmen for 30+ years. He has traveled across the country educating others about the Freedmen. He has been featured or referenced in numerous well-known publications, books, and newspapers and has done presentations for a number of organizations, universities, churches, and community centers.
Cathy has been involved in family history on and off for about 25 years. She currently serves as the director of the Tulsa Family History Center, where she is privileged to work with dedicated volunteers who help others find their family stories. She has given presentations to the Tulsa Genealogy Society, the Muskogee Genealogy Society, and at conferences in Arkansas and Tulsa.
Jeff loves family history work. He is very grateful for the many new and easy to use tools that are available to us today.
Andre’ Head brings over thirty years of managerial experience to his quest for community preservation and restoration, historical confirmation, and family research. With his professional and avocational interests overlapping, Mr. Head served the State of Washington as a Federal Marshal, was a Safety Manager with Experience Music Project and Chateau Ste Michelle, and with his beloved bomb-sniffing canine Misha, served as a Certified Explosives Detection Officer in Seattle, Washington. While in Oklahoma, Andre’ taught Health and Safety courses at Central State University, now UCO, devoted attention to his first career in Fire Safety, serving as Fire Chief of Forest Park, and as Edmond’s first African American firefighter, as Edmond’s first Black Major of Fire Prevention, was earlier appointed as an Arson Investigator, and served earlier as a Life Safety Instructor. During the same period, Head became an avid genealogist, devoting years of research to family heritage. Resultantly, Andre’ collected numerous anecdotes, researched years of records and discovered previously uncovered and authentic data on six-plus generations of his own family! As Founder and CEO of THE COLTRANE GROUP, HISTORY IN PROGRESS, an organization committed to preserving the rich heritage and deep history of Black Towns, Head discovered the alarmingly disappearing number and often disappointing condition of many of Oklahoma’s Black Towns. Currently numbering only thirteen, Oklahoma’s Historic Black Towns became the primary focus of THE COLTRANE GROUP and their Board.
Heavily involved in the revitalization efforts of Boley and her renewal efforts, The Group recently completed an Assessment of the Boley Public Library for the National Park Service, and a museum exhibit initially shown for six months at the Oklahoma History Center, “Colored Memories”. This is a colorized depiction of black and white photos from the 1920’s and 30’s collected and colorized by Head that reflects the cultural and early entrepreneurial richness of Boley. Having been amazed by the ongoing discovery of entrepreneurial success and civic sophistication in our early All-Black townships, Andre’ became excited to share this awe-inspiring information with others. Mr. Head later produced the first in a series of documentaries about “The Crown Jewel’ (Boley) and her annual rodeo, both prominently featured on social media. Concerned about reviving knowledge of and interest in the treasures of the Historic Black Towns, The Coltrane Group subsequently developed The Historic Black Towns’ Tours, which five times per year conduct different chartered bus ‘tours w/meals’ guided by The Heads to these Towns, two or three sites per Tour. Head also created the Black Genealogy Research Group (BGRG) of Oklahoma, an organization dedicated to the discovery/research of people’s roots and heritage via official genealogical search. That group now proudly meets monthly at The Oklahoma History Center.
Having served on the Boards of the Washington State Association of Safety Engineers, Washington State Crime Stoppers, Woodinville Fire Safety Council, and on the Executive Board of The Evergreen Safety Council., Andre’ is a member of the American Association of Museums, the Oklahoma Historical Society, the National Fire Marshals Association, the International Association of Arson Investigators, and other professional organizations. Andre’ was recently featured professionally in an issue of the Safety Council’s ‘People in Safety’ magazine’, and is a proud member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church where he serves on its Black Heritage Committee and a Lead on St. John’s Security Team. A man of diverse talents, Andre’ designed and produced the entire run’s first leather labels for a popular Chateau Ste Michelle Winery product!
Happily married to his high school sweetheart, Jessilyn (also the Chief Operating Officer of The Coltrane Group), Andre’ and his wife are proud parents of five grown children and doting grandparents to seven beautiful grandbabies! Andre’ is eager to share with you the rich history and continued progress of The Historical All-Black Towns of Oklahoma.
Originally from Rexburg, Idaho, Bonnie has degrees from Ricks College (BYU-Idaho) and Idaho State University. She has been doing genealogy and family history research since her teens. She is treasurer of the Indian Territory Genealogical & Historical Society located at Northeastern State University. She is also a member of The Mayflower Society, the New England Genealogical Society, The Pilgrim Society, the Quaker Family History Society, and the Idaho State Historical Society.
Lee Jarman has been a staff volunteer and consultant at the Tulsa Family History Center for more than 4 years. He has been involved with family history research for his own family for a number of years as well. Lee is conversant in Spanish, having served a 2-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in southern Mexico. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with two majors, Spanish and biological sciences, Lee worked as a safety specialist. Lee has worked with Spanish-speaking people during work-site safety training and while serving within the Church.
Mina Cherry Jarman
Mina Cherry Jarman was born in Sunset, Weber County, Utah. Being interested in genealogy as a small child, she remembers sneaking into her grandmother’s upstairs bedrooms and searching for stories and old photographs.
In 1972 Mina took her first class in genealogy at Weber State College. She met and married her best friend in 1976, raised four boys, and continued to work on her family trees, dreaming of a time when she could become certified in genealogical research. Thirty years later she received her certificate in Family History Research from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Continuing her studies with a geographical emphasis in German research, she recently graduated with an Associate’s degree in Applied Sciences in Genealogy and Family History Research.
Her love of family history began in 1998. Following her father’s death, Charlotte, her mother, and cousin Brenda, took to the roads, visiting her father’s people and the places from which they came. Results from DNA testing took her to Kentucky and Texas, and back to Oklahoma in search of her ancestors. Through the DNA analysis she discovered two generations of family who had left no paper trail.
Taking a break from BYU-Idaho, she is serving a mission with FamilySearch. Her responsibilities include contacting repositories in Oklahoma, offering assistance in digitizing records, inventorying records of genealogical value, and coordinating potential projects and volunteers.
A long-time volunteer, Barbara is a familiar face at the Tulsa Family History Center where she is an assistant director and the Native American research expert. She has been engaged in family history research for over 30 years.
According to Barbara, an analysis of her DNA revealed that she is 18% Native American. Her specific area of expertise is in Cherokee research and working with the Dawes rolls. Her own Cherokee lineage traces to the first Chief on record, Amatoya Moytoy, known as the Little Emperor by the English. Barbara says, “The things I have learned about my Cherokee ancestors have been a great blessing in my life.”
A Tulsa native, Amanda graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. She received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Art History from Brigham Young University. Her interests in world cultures, family history, and faith led her to pursue a career in professional genealogy. She worked as a digitization specialist at Ancestry and later transferred to the Ancestry ProGenealogists office in Salt Lake City. In that role she worked as a researcher for the U.S. Southern States team, on cases for clients and for the hit TLC series “Who Do You Think You Are?” Her main genealogical experience and interests are in southern U.S. and German records. In addition to family history work, Amanda enjoys plant-based cooking and raising her twin boys with her husband, Mark.
Bruce and Diane Mitchell
Diane’s family moved to East Tulsa in 1969. Bruce’s family moved to Broken Arrow in 1973, just before he left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Scotland (where his mother was born and raised). They met in Tulsa in 1975. Bruce had just returned from his mission and Diane had just finished her sophomore year at Brigham Young University. They married in 1976 and shared an interest in family history that was encouraged by all four of their grandmothers.
They spent much of their “free time” interviewing family members, reading family letters and histories, scrolling US Census records and visiting cemeteries. Bruce’s research took him through the southern United States and over to Scotland. Diane focused her time and energy on ancestors from her father’s side of the family who had been in the states for generations. Those efforts were rewarded when she found pioneer ancestors she didn’t know existed. She avoided her mother’s Swedish ancestors as there were few clues to family members that came from a country far away that spoke a language she didn’t know.
In 2014, they discovered Lindsborg, KS, Semi-annual Swedish Genealogy Workshops and ArkivDigital. Bruce and Diane are excited to share some of the things they have learned about Swedish research over the past five years.
Katlin is a Digital Literacy Associate at Central Library in the Tulsa City-County Library system. She runs the Digital Literacy Lab, a digital learning center, and facilitates technology programming for all ages – including web literacy and coding. She organizes Django Girls Tulsa and Railsbridge Tulsa and is a volunteer with Techlahoma, a non-profit that works to engage tech talent in Oklahoma and bring free, high-tech programs to Oklahomans. She has served as the National Director of Operations for Alpha Sigma Kappa – Women in Technical Studies, an organization that empowers and supports collegiate women in STEM majors and women in STEM fields.
Brandy has been fascinated by family history since she was a young girl. She loves learning the stories of those that came before us. Each of those names is a real person with real experiences that have the potential to inspire us. Brandy is one of the valuable staff members in the Family History Center.